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Bill would prevent elected officials from profiting from schools

January 29, 2014

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania state Rep. Rob Matzie introduced legislation on January 24 that would prevent members of the general assembly from using their positions or knowledge to profit from the activities of schools while in office.

“Under current law, members of the general assembly are prohibited from having financial interests in a variety of entities that receive funds from the state. These checks are designed to ensure fair and equal representation for all,” Matzie said. “When I learned that there wasn’t a similar prohibition for private and charter schools, I knew it was an issue that needed to be addressed.”

The Legislator Financial Interest Act would prohibit members of the general assembly from owning, holding a financial interest in, or serving on the governing body of schools.

The prohibition would extend for a one-year period after an elected official leaves office, and would apply to charter schools, private schools and business or nonprofit corporations that manage a school that receives funds from the state.

In addition, Matzie’s proposal would also require every state official to submit an annual affidavit to the chief clerk of their chamber declaring that neither the legislator nor an immediate family member of the legislator has a financial stake in a school.